Today’s Question


Somewhere, Senator Ortolan Finistirre is Smiling

Ok let’s get this out of the way…if you’ve never seen the movie Thank You for Smoking then the title of this post surely makes no sense to you. My apologies.

Apparently the warning labels on cigarette packages are about to get a lot more graphic. Starting in 2012 we’ll be seeing packaging with graphic images of just about anything you could dream up in an attempt to scare people into not smoking. Maybe it will be some rotted teeth, maybe a blackened lung, a picture of a smoker with three heads…you get the point.

For the record I don’t smoke. Do I think it’s ‘bad’ for people’s health if they smoke? I’m not a doctor nor have I personally conducted any studies, so it’s hard for me to say. If I had to speculate I’d say yes. But it’s a free country. Do as you wish. Judgment-free zone here. Besides I eat plenty of stuff that is probably equally as bad for me as smoking would be so I’m quite certain I don’t have much room to talk when it comes to healthiness.

Anyway this whole label thing instantly made me think of that movie and the battle between the fictitious Senator and the fictitious ‘Big Tobacco’ spokesman, Nick Naylor. Great stuff – and pretty much exactly what is being planned here, except in the movie it was a skull and crossbones that was being proposed for cigarette packages.

I’ll admit…that movie (and perhaps more so a previous job of mine where I, too, was representing a rather unpopular entity) made an impact on my thinking when it comes to stuff like this. Not necessarily from the health standpoint but certainly from the ‘other argument’ standpoint. Life is interesting in that it always seems to provide experiences, expected or unexpected, that enable you to see all sides of a story.

So back to the topic of the new labels. Is it good to have these types of labels on cigarette packages or is it excessive? Does the message need to get out more or is this being too controlling of private companies? Should people be able to figure it out on their own or is the government obligated to step in to protect people from the dangers of smoking? Are these labels necessary or unnecessary? Good or bad?? Sounds like it’s time for another poll…

…and please feel free to comment further on this issue or any of these random questions I throw at ya on here. Keep scrolling down…the ‘Leave a Reply’ box is just below the post. So go for it – type until your heart’s content.

Today’s Customer Service Award goes to…

this company.

It is so nice to see good customer service these days. You know as well as I do that it doesn’t always happen. The folks at BargainCell seem to get it though and so I’m devoting a few moments to my experience with them.

After my laptop battery and battery charger both died in the same day recently, I made a few online purchases to replace them. Pretty much a no-brainer there…spend $30-40 (including shipping) combined for both online or $75-100 through the manufacturer or elsewhere. Anyway I purchased what I thought was the correct charger from this company on Amazon but unfortunately my computer knowledge fell short, as the 8 billion number/letter combo that I tried to match from my old one to the item description online resulted in me getting a charger with a plug that would barely fit into a cell phone, much less a laptop. So after muttering the obligatory growls when that didn’t fit I gave it a shot and called the company.

Now anyone who’s ever ordered online knows you’re taking a shot in the dark when you buy items from the www (‘Who KnoWs What I’m going to get’ – also known as the World Wide Web) particularly when it’s from a company that you’ve not heard of before. You’re really at the mercy of whatever they show in the advertisement and then ship you. Furthermore, returning items that were purchased online can be a major headache.

But the folks at BargainCell surprised me today. Without even being asked the guy looked up the correct charger for my laptop, told me they’d ship it out today without me having to send the other one back first, and then told me they were sending prepaid postage materials for the other one so I could send it back on their dime after I got the new one. Wow.

I wound up thanking the guy like, three times on the phone. Yeah I know, I suppose that’s ‘how it should be’ and sure it may not be a very big deal but I thought it was great. So there ya go. BargainCell. I’m a big fan. Happy shopping, everyone.

Today’s Question

Giving It Away

Saw this last night and let me tell you, it certainly brought a smile to my face.

Where do I begin? I guess I will start by saying that it is so refreshing in our ‘Me First!’ world and with all of the focus on individual riches and possessions that you see everywhere on television, etc…that these folks just gave away the overwhelming majority of their fortune. That is just plain awesome.

Now granted, according to the reports they were at least somewhat financially secure so some might say they didn’t need it. Not the point. Read more. These folks aren’t living a life of luxury. They don’t drive new cars. Heck, they don’t even have a microwave. Not exactly extravagant living here. But yet, simple living. Peaceful living. A life where the love they share and the times they spend together is enough.

And so they gave the money away. The majority of an $11 million jackpot – out the door. Charities, research foundations, churches, and more are now all benefiting from this couple’s generosity. I just love stuff like this. There is so much good that can be done in the world and stories like this one serve as a great reminder to think of others first. Doesn’t have to be with your wallet though. It could be with your time, your talents…whatever it might be. There’s a message in this story and it’s a really good one.

At the same time it serves as a great example of love. Allen Large says it best, ‘The money that we won was nothing – we have each other.’ I’ll admit, I am a bit envious of this man’s mentality. It seems as though our culture is always (whether directly or indirectly) teaching us to have and want ‘more, more, more’ in all aspects of our lives but in reality, sometimes less IS more. Something to think about..


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